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A Chinese Sex Shop Comedy!
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Red Light Revolution (2010) by director Sam Voutas.
When I met Sam it was at happy hour in in the Blue Agave during the 2011 Santa Barbara International Film Festival. His story intrigued me as it would anyone- He's an Australian living in Beijing who has just directed the first ever ‘Chinese sex-shop comedy' with his Canadian producer Melanie Ansley. What a pitch! That was all the description I needed to want to see this film. And let me tell you, this film is like nothing you have ever seen before. It's sassy, smart, state-of-the-art, universal, surprising and super sexy! Now never mind the subtitles all you native English speakers, because you won't want to miss out on this one. It's a red light revolution in Shanghai.
Set in Beijing, Shunzi (played by Jun Zhao) is a late 20s/early 30s penniless male whose wife has left him for another man. After he returns home to his parents, he appears doomed to work dead-end jobs and live with his parents indefinitely. One day he meets a friend from his school days who opens up a whole new world to him with a white rabbit in the shape of a dildo popping out of his very businesslike briefcase. LOL! This isn't Wonderland, Alice...Or is it? This new world is one of sex condoms, dildos of all shapes, sizes and colors, vibrators, blowup dolls, erotic energy giving love potions and much much more. And with that, Shunzi's life catapults from the mundane and boring to unpredictable, exciting and profitable. Who could ask for a more? Add to that, a Japanese mob investor and a local police officer at his neck and a sexy young coworker to help him out of every tight jam?
If you see one Sex Shop Comedy this year, do not miss this one! Sam Voutas gives us something to laugh about and learn from in Red Light Revolution!
The fun never stops with Sam Voutas. It just follows him like a monkey on banana. If you want to read about a real very cinematic moment with the visionary director himself, read on ;-)
I saw Sam again in Berlin just weeks after meeting him in Santa Barbara. We ran into each other at a Karaoke bar of all places. We'd heard of a happening party at another place called the ‘Bauhaus' so we told the taxi driver to take us there and he mistakenly took us to the ‘Ballhouse'. So, Sam and I walk into the ‘Ballhouse' and instead of a cool filmmaker's party, we walked into a geriatric swing ballroom with an entire room of old couples dancing swing as if their lives depended on it. It was surreal to say the least. It reminded us of something out of ‘The Shining' meets a David Lynch film. While tripping out over a bald man with a long nipple length beard dancing (periodically stopping to wipe himself with a sweat towel), a Corto Maltese-esque character almost 7 feet tall strode past us with trench coat and seaman's hat. Sam and I stood frozen, sharing the wacky experience together until we left and called it a very East Berlin night. Gotta love Berlin, where anything and everything can happen!
Thanks Sam for the wacky and funny cinematic moments. More please? :-)
written by Vanessa McMahon March 03, 2011
Read more about Sam Voutas here:
photo stil from film
Director Sam Voutas and Producer Melanie Ansley
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